We're really excited to have submitted to Routledge our manuscripts for three books on the Five-Level QDA method - one each for ATLAS.ti, MAXQDA and NVivo. Nick developed the theory and when we met in 2013 we realized that we had both come to very similar conclusions about the issues involved in teaching and learning to harness CAQDAS packages powerfully. We've since been working together to refine, test and write-up the method.
In an earlier post on CAQDAS critics and advocates I promised to provide evidence for my position that CAQDAS packages are not distancing, de-contextualising, and homogenising, as is sometimes claimed. I have already argued that CAQDAS packages actually bring us closer to our data, and given an illustration of how this can happen, so here I consider the de-contextualizing issue.
In my previous post I argued that using dedicated CAQDAS packages for analysis could bring us closer to our data, rather than distance us from it, as some critics suggest. Here I illustrate this by outlining how different CAQDAS tools can be used in to fulfil a specific analytic task, thus bringing us closer to data.
Let's imagine we are doing a project in which we need to generate an interpretation that is data-driven rather than theory-driven. It could involve one of a number of analytic methods, for example, inductive thematic analysis, narrative analysis, grounded theory analysis, interpretive phenomenological analysis'. Whatever the strategy, an early analytic task may be to familiarize with the transcripts in order identify potential concepts. There are several different ways we could go about fulfilling this analytic task using dedicated CAQDAS packages. Here I discuss three.
In an earlier post on CAQDAS critics and advocates I promised to provide evidence for my position that CAQDAS packages are not distancing, de-contextualising, and homogenising, as is sometimes claimed. So I'm starting a series of posts. First I'm taking the suggestion that the use of CAQDAS distances us from our qualitative data and illustrate why I believe the converse to be true. Here I outline my position, and I'll illustrate my argument with examples in subsequent posts.
As well as our own Five-Level QDA blog Nick and Christina have contributed to other blogs, newsletters and magazines on aspects to do with the use of CAQDAS packages. In addition, there are posts and resources written by others which are related to our work that we think researchers using different CAQDAS packages may find useful. Here we collate these resources for easy access. We will update this post as additional resources come to our attention relate to Five-Level QDA. If you know of something that should be listed here, please let us know.
Last week I gave the keynote at the 1st International Symposium on Qualitative Research and the 5th Ibero-American Congress on Qualitative Research, in Porto, Portugal. It was a good crowd of 350-400 delegates. A few people have asked me what I spoke about so here's a brief summary.
I was searching through tweets using the #CAQDAS hashtag the other day and came across one that sent me reeling. And not in a good way. I've since been pondering why it prompted such a strong reaction, which might not have happened had I not been to the recent ICQI conference.
The language of determinism and constructivism in CAQDAS discourses.
At the opening plenary of the Digital Tools stream at ICQI, Kristi Jackson highlighted that critics of CAQDAS often frame their positions in the language of determinism, whereas advocates use the language of constructivism. She noted that to determinist critics
"the software limits personal agency by standardizing processes", whereas to constructivist advocates "the software expands options and promotes diversity". Spot on.
Digital tools for qualitative data analysis are powerful and sexy, but does everyone know? And what can we / should we do about it...here are some musings from some recent conference experiences.
Who would travel half way across a continent to a conference with less than 30 participants? Christina and I were recently at the ICQI 2016 conference in Champaign at the University of Illinois. Norm Denzin, the founder and organizer of ICQI, told me 1,305 qualitative researchers attended this year...
Nick emphasized in his first blog post that 5LQDA is not a new or different way of doing qualitative data analysis but a method of teaching how experienced CAQDAS users unconsciously harness their chosen software. This is a critical point that I want to bring to life by sharing an eye-opening conversation with Dr. Michelle Salmona of the Institute for Mixed Methods Research.
You may be wondering what Five-Level QDA is all about. Perhaps you're thinking it's a new qualitative data analysis (QDA) approach, like discourse analysis, grounded theory or thematic analysis. It's not. Here in a nutshell is what it's all about.
TOOLS AND MINDSETS
Those of us who do QDA, whatever approach we use, all have to choose how to go about it, how to get the thoughts we have when we read data out of our heads and on to, what? Paper, a whiteboard, a set of index cards? Not likely anymore. Almost everyone uses a computer in some way, which is just another kind of tool, like highlighter pens, or scissors to cut up interview transcripts. But
The 3 day NVivo course was based around Five-Level QDA and was an excellent balance between the technicalities of using analytical software and its real-world use as a research tool. Christina grounded the training in how to conduct high quality post-graduate research as a means to enhance good research practice, allow effective data analysis, and support research project management. This is far preferable to an approach focusing largely or wholly on the technical details of software, with little relation to conducing actual academic research. Although the 3 days was very intensive it comes highly recommended.Simon Cox
PhD Student, Nottingham Business School, Chief Officer, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group